To honor the memory of Prof. Stephan M. Perren, the Journal of Biomechanics is soliciting articles for a Special Issue to be published in early 2021.
Stephan M Perren died in November 2019 at the age of 87. He was one of the founding fathers of biomechanics. We owe to him the theory explaining tissue deformation as a critical mechanical factor that controls bone healing, which still underlies more recent descriptions of bone growth, remodeling and healing.
He served as a President of the European Society of Biomechanics between 1986 and 1988, and as Director of the AO Research Institute from 1967 to 1996. His leadership and pioneering work in the study of bone healing and in the development of implants for fracture treatment has influenced many scientists and surgeons in musculoskeletal research and clinical practice.
The Journal of Biomechanics is soliciting manuscripts for a special issue of the journal to be published in early 2021 in the areas where Prof. Perren gave his fundamental contribution. Original articles, Short Communications, Perspectives, and Review Articles are being solicited in all areas of bone biomechanics, from the level of the entire skeleton, down to the tissue level and the level of the bone components, including but not limited to bone healing, bone mechanics, mechanobiology, orthopaedic biomechanics. Papers presenting numerical, in vitro and in vivo studies are all welcome. Fundamental topics in this area include:
Bone mechanics. This area has been investigated extensively for many decades, and still has a number of open issues. The mechanisms of bone deformation are not yet fully understood at the microscopic level, new studies further elucidate the mechanisms of bone fracture under different conditions, and rheological models with more fidelity are being developed to describe the viscoelastic and anisotropic properties of bone based on a mechanistic approach.
Bone ageing and disease. Osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, rickets and osteomalacia are just some of the pathologies that affect bones in the young and in the elderly. The mechanisms and the consequences of such diseases have a strong mechanical component. Ongoing research covers both the mechanical alterations, and the underlying metabolic changes affecting the cells and the extracellular matrix. The same applies to primitive bone tumors and metastases, where the risk of fracture can jeopardize life expectation and the chances for recovery.
Growth and remodeling. This area has been investigated extensively in the past 30 years, including the seminal contribution of Prof. Perren. Research in this field originally relied on numerical models aiming at interpreting phenomenological observations, while animal studies allowed creating controlled loading or pharmacological conditions. Still, cell differentiation and proliferation, and tissue remodeling and growth offer questions that can be addressed with advanced imaging, modeling, etc.
Mechanobiology. Experimental and numerical models have helped understand the interaction between the mechanical environment, and the cell activity. The most advanced bioreactors, combined with more and more powerful imaging techniques are now allowing to assess the mechanical properties of an individual cell, the response and adaptation of cells to stimuli, and how this can scale up to the adaptation and growth observed at the tissue and at the organ levels.
Bone fractures. The increasing rate of bone fractures in the ageing and sedentary population create a serious public health concern, and continuously attracts the interest of clinicians and scientists. Despite all the efforts in the past decade, our power in predicting the risk of fracture in an individual is inadequate. Ongoing research includes the mechanisms of fracture due to trauma but also to para-physiological loading, the bone competence, but also the propensity of an individual to suffer a critical overload.
Fracture treatment and bone healing. This has been the main area of research of Prof. Perren. Still today a significant number of treated fractures do not heal adequately. The research here follows different paths. One is elucidating the mechanisms of bone healing, including angiogenesis, and formation of new bone. Another path is that of improving fracture treatment with improved fixation devices and materials. A third path investigates adjuvant physical therapies, such as magnetic fields and ultrasound.
Materials and therapies for bone regeneration. Bioactive and regenerative materials and scaffolds are continuously developed to fill bone traumatic, congenital or degenerative defects, and to replace damaged or removed bone. A key feature for a regenerative material is the ability to encourage cell adhesion and promote replacement and regrowth of new tissue: mechanical stress is an important regulator of this process. In vivo, the mechanical properties and architecture of implanted engineered tissues evolve in response to the biomechanical and biochemical environment. In vitro experiments and numerical models try to predict the ability of engineered tissues to follow normal anatomical growth. Current research aims to develop an understanding of the remodeling mechanisms, and how this can be exploited to design regenerative materials so as to avoid adverse remodeling or degeneration.
Innovative methods for bone research. There are a number of technologies that are very promising for the investigation of different aspects of bone mechanics. This includes experimental methods such as high-resolution imaging, measurement of bone changes, bone deformation, cell response with image correlation and volume correlation methods, a range of tools for measuring the mechanical properties at the microscopic scale. While the painstaking effort of developing and qualifying these tools often finds little space in the scientific literature, rigorous methodological work is essential for the advancement of bone biomechanics.
All manuscripts should follow the standard formats for the journal and should be submitted online at the Journal of Biomechanics website: https://www.editorialmanager.com/bm/
During submission, please choose the article type as “S.M. Perren Special Issue” and indicate the type of submission (Original article, Review article, etc.) on your cover page. Manuscript will undergo standard peer-review. Manuscripts should be submitted before 30 June 2020 for consideration.
Accepted manuscripts will be published online immediately and compiled into the Virtual Special Issue for early 2021. Given the short timeline and limited space, manuscripts will be considered as they are received. Manuscripts that are submitted or accepted after the special issue has been completed will be automatically considered as regular submissions to the journal.
Any questions about this special issue can be directed to Guest Editors, Luca Cristofolini (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Keita Ito (K.Ito@tue.nl). If you plan on submitting, please send a tentative title to the Guest Editors to assist us in planning the issue.